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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 15 Recap (With KBA Superlatives)

The Return of Tone and Cebron is of No Help as Cartier Brown Makes Case for League MVP

Team Cartier Brown 35
Team Kyle Bailey 31

I was extremely impressed with Cartier Brown's last performance against Team Parks, a game in which he scored 25 points. I was even more impressed with the dominance he displayed in Wednesday's encore in Team Brown's (5-4) victory over Team Bailey (2-7). Brown's back must have been hurting after this one, because he was carrying his team for the entire first half and a large portion of the second as well. He scored 14 of his team's 18 first half points. What I liked about Team Brown today was their unselfishness. They knew that Brown was on fire. Rather than try to get theirs, they continued to let the big dog eat. Besides, Dimitri Baker was too concerned about making sure he called everyone on the other team "soft" at least once, to even worry about trying to put up numbers. Brown ended up finishing the game with 21 points and 6 rebounds. Two of those 21 came with four seconds left as Brown sealed the deal by hitting back-to-back free throws to give his team a 4 point lead. Thomas Hood (9 points) was the only other notable scorer for Team Brown, however, Michael Darty did a brilliant job guarding Antonio Boyle in the second half, making him earn each and every one of his points. The victory gave Team Brown a much coveted third seed in the playoffs, while Team Bailey's loss resulted in a five seed. Cartier Brown was able to capture his first KBA scoring title in the victory. Note: Thomas Hood did something that has not been done in well over four weeks. He airballed consecutive free-throws a la Marques Hudson earlier in the year.

Even with the return of Antonio Boyle and do-it-all forward Cebron, Team Bailey had no answer for Cartier Brown. With this game having astronomical playoff implications, the loss was a crushing blow to Team Bailey's chances for a championship. This game was very winnable and has a lot of "what ifs" attached to it for The Bailey Bunch. Most notably, what if Antonio Boyle had just shot a lay-up instead of badly missing a dunk that could have extended his team's lead in the second half? I think if that were the case, the order of these two paragraphs would be switched around and we'd be talking about Team Bailey as a three seed. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If you can't dunk, lay it in. Even with Boyle's faux pas, they still had a chance with under a minute left. Trailing by two, it looked like Derrick Gaddy was going to lay the ball in and put the game out of reach for Team Bailey. Bam Brisco had other plans as he skied into the air and beat Gaddy's ball off the glass at the speed of a scud missile. The KBA Block of the Year led to a transition opportunity in which Keith Spencer launched a three with less than ten seconds left. His shot came up short (Although Spencer argued for at least an hour after the game that he was fouled) and Team Brown was able to eek out a victory after Cartier Brown's free throws ended the game. Antonio Boyle finished the game with 15 points and Vinnie Sanchez added eight. While the loss hurt, don't be surprised if this team makes some noise in the playoffs. All they need is for Kyle Bailey to regain his confidence and start shooting the ball like I know he can.

Team Afure Shocks the World in Double OT!!!

Team Afure Obeabor 39
Team Denzell Hargrove 37

Danny Manning and the Miracles, Namath's Jets, and Buster Douglas are mere mortals in the world of the underdog after Team Afure's (1-8) shocking upset of Team Hargrove (6-3). Seriously, look back in the parentheses after the word Afure. The fact that the one looks so foreign and out of place proves just how monumental this victory was. The win certainly did not come easy. With the game tied at 36-36, Hargrove's Travis McBride strangely decided to foul, much to the dismay of Coach Hargrove. Rob Siler headed to the line, with a chance to win the game at the end of regulation. Siler missed the front end of the one and one, thus giving Team Hargrove their own chance for victory with four seconds left. Fortunately, the execution out of Denzell's Hargroves timeout was suspect, as they were not able to even get a shot off (Note: Not sure if Hargrove was able to communicate properly what he wanted as he spent most of the time out repeating the phrase,"Yall need to stop tweaking"). In overtime, it looked again like Team Afure was going to fall a bit short as they fouled Phaelen Lewis with zero seconds left on the clock. After making the first to tie the game, Lewis missed the second, and thus gave Team Afure new life. The second overtime featured a sudden death format where the first team to score wins. A Devonje Johnson steal at mid-court led to a wide-open layup for himself and ended the game in thrilling fashion. It's fitting that Johnson was the hero at the end, because he was phenomenal throughout. His 20 points kept his team in the game against the number one ranked team in the league. Without him playing his best game of the season, Team Afure may have been blown out. Instead, they will go down in the KBA history books, as the most improbable victor of all time. Afure Obeabor was the second leading scorer, finishing with 8.

With the number one overall seed locked up for the playoff's, Denzell Hargrove decided to rest himself and only coach in the last regular season game of the year. While this was great from a "this will provide great material for the blog" perspective, it was terrible from a "now we are going to head in to the playoffs with no momentum and show how vulnerable we are" perspective. Didn't Hargrove learn anything from the Indianapolis Colts who rested Peyton Manning for the last two games of the regular season and ended up getting upset by the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl? Or how about the Cleveland Cavaliers who rested Lebron James late in the year, only to get absolutely embarrassed by the Boston Celtics come playoff time? Apparently, Hargrove does not think that history will repeat itself once again. We shall see. What I do know, is that if Hargrove truly wanted to rest himself, then he should have not coached either. He probably expended more energy running up and down the sideline screaming at his players than he would have by playing. While I appreciate Hargrove's concern for my battle with writer's block, I do not think this bolds well for his team. Red Washington scored 12 points and Phaelen Lewis added 10 in the loss.

Team Jones finishes Up Year on a High Note, Team Conner Doesn't

Team Jeff Jones 47
Team Turean Conner 34

It's always nice to end the regular season with a victory, even if it has no impact on your inevitable first round defeat on Friday. Team Jones (3-6) will gladly accept the win even if it is technically irrelevant. They competed much harder and played much better than the completely disinterested Team Conner (5-4), who was more concerned with arguing with each other than they were about actually winning. Hassan Hall and Arieus Fitch each had eight points, but the big news was the emergence of Delando Dallas who finished with 13. Dallas, a free agent acquisition, kept telling Coach Rodgers before his first game last week how he used to kill it in my PE class first semester. He'd always want me to confirm this for the commish, but the fact that I did not remember him do anything of the sort made me think that he had far too high of an opinion about his game. After the way he play today however, it makes me wonder how I could have overlooked his scoring abilities and knack for finding the ball on the offensive glass. I guess it just proves that some guys slip through cracks on occasion during Gym Class.

Wow..........I do not even know where to begin with Team Conner so I'm not going to.

KBA Superlatives: Each year across the country, yearbooks are filled with senior superlatives highlighting the best students that their schools have to offer. In that same vain, I decided that we should do the same for the KBA.

Most Athletic: Cartier Brown

Best Defender: Michael Darty

Most Clutch: Travis McBride

Most Versatile: Patrick Glostner

Best Backcourt: Corey Williams and Remy Price

Best Dunker: Kevin Swanson

Most Likely to Hear the Phrase "If you can't dunk, lay it in" next year: Kevin Swanson

Funniest: Markise Wilson

Most Likely to not admit when he's wrong: Laquinn Parks

Most Underrated: Squirt Polk

Fastest Talker: Keith Spencer

Most Likely to co-star with Ice Cube in 2016's Barbershop V: Courtney Ealy

Most Likely to run for office: Cebron with Daniel Palm as running mate

Best Hair: Marques Hudson

Most Likely to Grow up and Dominate Everyone in the League: The Ogunleye Brothers

Most Likely to still be calling people soft ten years from now: Dimitri Baker

Most Likely to believe in the phrase, "If I'm hot, keep shooting. If I'm not, shoot until I'm hot": Three Way Tie- Cash Jones, Kyle Bailey, Denzell Hargrove

Most Likely to be asked "How Tall are You?" thousands of times in his life: Jermaine Johnson

Most likely to bench 500 lbs. first: Demario Lofton

Most likely to still be mad at each other at KBA 10 year reunion: Phillip Strong and Cash Jones

Least Likely to not Argue a Bad Call and thus most likely to get the next call: Michael Darty

Most likely to get criticized at a family reunion: Jeff Jones for trading cousin Cash

Best Family Guy Nickname: Stuey Salley

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 14 Recap

Rodgers Makes Historic Decision

Team Afure N/A
Team Jones N/A

Due to both teams having many of their players not show up or others forgetting their jerseys, this game began as a four on four match-up. The guys that did play in the first half showed absolutely no effort and played like their lives absolutely did not depend on the outcome of the game and like there was definitely going to be a tomorrow. They left the equivalent to nothing on the court. As a result, Commisioner Rodgers called the game at halftime. At first, since Team Afure was leading, they were ecstatic, thinking that they had picked up their first win of the season. Then Rodgers hit them with the addendum to his decision. No, they did not pick up their first win of the season. Quite the contrary. The game was so lethargic and poorly played that both teams lost.

I must say as assistant commissioner, I could not agree more with his conclusion of handing out a double-loss in this situation. In fact, I believe it was a historic ruling not only for the KBA, but the game of basketball as well. It sets the precedent for next time two NBA teams to decide to cheat the fans and mail in their performance like Vince Carter, post Raptors. David Stern can now point to May 17, 2010 as the day that saved basketball. As assistant commissioner, I am proud to have witnessed that moment in history. Although I am not proud to have had to witness that first half. After the losses, Team Afure drops to O wins, 8 losses and Team Jones falls to 2 wins, 6 losses.

Team Bailey has "Technical" Difficulties

Team Denzell Smith 29
Team Kyle Bailey 26

Team Smith (5-4) was extremely fortunate to come away with a victory after shooting 10% from the free-throw line. Team Bailey (2-6) tried to hand this game over to them on a silver platter by committing 3 technical fouls, but Team Smith seemed determined to keep the game close. Maybe they felt bad for the fans after Afure vs. Jones and wanted to give them an exciting game, but in my opinion it had more to do with Coach Smith's lack of emphasis on foul shooting at their practices. I'm certain that Smith will make the necessary adjustments to his practice planing in the future and substitute shooting drills for the allotted time dedicated to "V" and "Go Home" segments. In all honesty, if they had even shot 50%, they would have won this game by double digits. Instead, they had to sweat through the last 2 minutes of the second half. Marques Hudson had 10 points, 8 rebounds, and four steals in the victory. Teammate Denzell Smith added 6 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 blocks.

Vinnie Sanchez had 11 points. The rest of his team didn't score much but they did a remarkable job of being able to restrain themselves and only commit 3 technicals after the absolutely atrocious officiating by Rodgers and Maley. I mean seriously, could we at least get guys to ref who have either played the game or coached before? Having those two bums ref is like having Lebron James and Dominique Wilkins judge a dunk contest. It just doesn't make sense. Team Bailey shot the ball unbelievably well from three, they played suffocating team defense, made every pass that needed to made, and boxed out on every possession, yet they still lost due to the men on the whistle. How unfair is that? Personally, I think the league should take a vote and make sure that Maley and Rodgers are never assigned to one of their games again. That way, Team Bailey will be able to win every one of the rest of their games. Otherwise, their team will continue to be cheated out of victories time and again.

Brown Explodes for 25 in Win

Team Cartier Brown 48
Team Laquinn Parks 41

Even though Cartier Brown seems to think that the further back you shoot from, the more points you get, its undeniable that his three point shooting was why his team came out on top. Trailing by two at halftime, Team Brown (6-4) decided that it would take a different approach in the second half. Michael Darty was assigned to shadow Mario Sawyer all over the court by Coach Brown. When Sawyer had the ball, Darty was in his grill. When Mario was without the ball, Darty did everything in his power to keep it that way. His defense was one of the main reasons why Team Brown was able to pull away in the second half and why many think Darty might be named defensive player of the year. The other reason for the victory was Team Brown's incredible knack for referee bullying. If Team Bailey wants to know how to get calls, they should look no further than Brown's squad. These guys were masterful in the way they were able manipulate the officials in the second half. I haven't seen better referee bullying since the last time these guys played. If their was one negative for anyone on this team, it was Dimitri Baker, who showed everyone on the league that you need to play physical with him, as evidence by Zarpka Bohn's body slam of him late in the game. Cartier Brown's 25 points were the best in the league this year by any one individual. His teammate Thomas Hood contributed 16 of his own.

Until Team Parks (5-4) is able to admit that trading away Kyle Begusa might have been a mistake, I refuse to write about their performances. All I can say is that they have not won a game since getting rid of big Kyle. Can you say the Curse of Begusbino?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 13 Recap (With Not So Subliminal Golf Outing Messages)

Team Rhodes Captures Bronco Division Title

Team Mr. Rhodes 32
Team Kyle Bailey 31

What a roller-coaster of ride this season has been for Mr. Rhodes (4-4). Starting off the year ranked pre-season #1, The Rhodes Scholars dropped their first two games of the season, causing many KBA apologists to question whether or not they could perform in a the big market, heavily media-scrutinized environment that comes with the Kenwood territory. Answering the bell (Speaking of Answering the Bell, selling spots in the Kenwood golf outing would be a good way for you to do some answering of your own), they got healthy, picking up wins against Team Afure and Team Hargrove in consecutive games. Just as they were starting to hit their stride, disaster struck. Team Captain, Mr. Rhodes, suffered what looked to be a season-ending injury. Rallying around their fallen comrade, Team Rhodes has gone on a two-game winning streak, including a thrilling victory over Team Bailey (2-5) on Friday which put them atop the Bronco division standings. While many, most notably Dimitri Baker, have been critical of the Jermaine Johnson prediction for making the All-KBA 3rd team, it was Johnson's rebounding and shot-blocking which kept Team Rhodes in the game in the second half. Nick Norals had an off-night, but his 8 points were much needed in the low scoring affair. Squirt Polk was the hero (Heroism comes in many forms. One such form would be a charitable donation to Kenwood Athletics) for Team Rhodes finishing with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Two of those points proved to be the game winner as Polk scored a lay-up with 14 seconds to go, putting the exclamation point on a ferocious last 2 minutes by Team Rhodes.

Jermaine Johnson was the best free agent pick-up at the deadline, however, Vinnie "Del Negro" Sanchez proved today that he is right on his heels for that distinction. Sanchez showed no signs of rust, scoring 8 of Team Bailey's first 12 points. He finished the game with 14 points as he cooled off a little in the second half as Team Rhodes realized that he was not some scrub that they could leave completely wide open. Funny that Sanchez shot so well considering that he was complaining vehemently about the ball we were using before the game, claiming that the one he was holding was the best ball (Best Ball = Format at golf outing as well. Thanks for giving me material to use Vinnie) for the job. Anyways, with 2:56 left, up five, it appeared as though Keith Spencer was going to put the game out of reach as he started coasting in for a wide-open lay-up. Instead, Spencer decided that he wanted to imitate his hero JJ Reddick and try to airball the lay-up. Unfortunately for Spencer, he fell short of his goal and barely nicked the rim. Unfortunately for Spencer's team, this was a turning point in the game and the moment when Team Rhodes realized that they still had a chance to win the game. Looking back, Spencer has to be kicking himself, and hoping that he could get a mulligan on that one. Unfortunately for him, mulligans are not allowed in the KBA, but are highly encouraged in the Save Our Sports Golf Outing on June 12, 1:00 Pm, at Joe Louis Golf Course in Riverdale, Illinois. Spencer finished the game with 8 points, 7 boards, and a whole heck-of-a-lot of should-of-could-of-would-of.

Reminder for those Who Need a little Extra Incentive: Even if you do not feel like giving or you have no altruistic bone in your body, the chance to sell spots in the golf outing is still not something you should ignore. Why?

1. For every four people you get to commit to the tourney, you will receive a $50 reward

2. For every ten people you get to commit to the tourney, you will receive a $150 reward

3. And if you are so lucky to get 20 people to commit, you will have the opportunity to kick
back and watch all the KBA highlights you want on your own flat-screen TV

The Message: Regardless of your motivation, this opportunity is not something that you should pass up.

McBride hits the McGamewinner

Team Denzell Hargrove 39
Team Turean Conner 37

Even with a poor-shooting performance, Team Hargrove (6-2) proved why they are the best team in the league as of May 14th. These guys absolutely attack the offensive glass. Almost all of their baskets in the first-half came off of second-chance opportunities thanks to the handiwork of Red Washington, Phaelen Lewis, and Kyle Begusa. As a result, they were able to survive, even when their offense was not clicking. While some teams in the league think they can turn the on and off button on their intensity throughout the season, these guys have been at full-go all year. Their hard-nosed style of play will serve them well in next week's playoffs. It was the Phaelen Lewis (18 points, 7 rebounds) show in the second half, as his huge start, propelled his team to a 24-16 lead with 12 minutes to play. Team Conner (5-3) roared back and took a one point lead after a Turean Conner slam with 15 seconds to go. Hargrove, having faith in his practice preparation, decided not to call a timeout and left the game in the hands of Travis McBride. T-Mac rewarded Hargrove for his faith by dribbling up the left side-line and cooly knocking down a three with four seconds to go, putting the Hargrovians up two. Immediately, they got a steal and layin off an errant inbounds pass by Team Conner which looked like it had sealed the game. Controversy ensued as referee Patrick Glostner claimed he had blown his whistle after the McBride three for a Team Conner timeout. This decision was met with an animated discussion by both teams which could have easily ended in every player on each side having to attend their own individual profanity clinics. Instead, order was finally restored and Team Conner was awarded the ball out of bounds, down only 2, instead of four. As Xavier O'Neil took the ball out and launched a beautiful full-court pass, all I could think about was the '72 Olympics in which a controversial call allowed the Soviet Union to get a second chance at defeating the Americans. As Daniel Palm came down with the pass, five feet in front of the rim, the name Aleksandr Belov kept scrolling through my head. I could not help but think of the ramifications of Palm making the shot and Team Conner coming up victorious. The entire reputation of the KBA would be ruined, Team Hargrove would file complaint after complaint to the commissioner's office, I may lose my hearing in both ears due to the yelling that would surely result, and Palm would never let anyone hear the end of it. "Please Don't Go In, Please Don't Go in," I said to myself. Thankfully, my prayers were answered. Palm missed the point-blank shot and the sanctity of the KBA as well as the personal safety of referee Glostner, assistant-commish Maley, and commisioner Rodgers were preserved. Phew, that was close.

Team Conner came out of the gates playing harder and with more intensity than I have ever seen them display before. Captain Turean Conner had his best game of the season and proved that when he is aggressive, he is one of the best players in the league. In a low-scoring first half, he had 10 of his team's 12 points. Unlike on June 12 at Joe Louis Golf Course where low score will win, in the KBA it only means one thing, losing. As a result of them being down, a Team Jones-like verbal dispute began to take place between point guard Chris Pride and small forward Daniel Palm. Apparently Pride was not happy with Palm's effort on the defensive end and wanted to let him know about it. The debate lasted for the last five minutes of the first half and all of halftime. Both players ultimately were able to settle their differences and reach the conclusion that they were right and the other guy was wrong. Even with all the team dissension, Team Conner found themselves trailing by only one with 20 seconds left. Turean Conner's steal and subsequent jam looked as though it was going to end the game in their favor and put the Pride-Palm feud to rest. Unfortunately, Travis McBride had other thoughts in mind as his three put Team Hargrove up for good with four seconds remaining. Turean Conner finished the game with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Pride added 12 points and six assists in the losing effort.

Daniel can have them Eating Out of the Palm of His Hand: If there is one thing we all know about Daniel Palm, its that he is extremely competitive and can talk better than anyone. An opportunity to put these characteristics to good use is by selling spots and sponsorships for the Save Our Sports Golf Outing. It's clear to me that after college, DP has a highly profitable future ahead of him in Sales. By making a full commitment to the golf outing, he has an opportunity to add to his wallet, his college resume, and the athletic opportunities that will be afforded to him at Kenwood. It seems like a can't-lose situation. While I'm calling him out, I believe that there are others in the KBA fraternity with the gift of gab who could be just as good, if not better than Palm at getting commitments to the outing. Most notably:

- Derrick Roberts, Delando Dallas, Sheldon Blanton, Keith Spencer, Cebron, Chaz Thrailkill, Syid Young, Dimitri Baker, Denzell Hargrove, Cash Jones, Cartier Brown, Pat Glostner, Nick Collie, Nick Norals, Derrick Gaddy

Rhodes Scholars win Both Ends of Double-Header

Team Mr. Rhodes 48
Team Cartier Brown 43

I wrote before how Team Rhodes (5-4) victory over Team Bailey gave them the #1 seed out of the Bronco division. Apparently, after forgetting that they played the third game as well against Team Brown (3-4), that was false. Not wanting to go back and rewrite the first game summary, I left it as is. Make note that the victory against Team Brown was the actual division clincher for Team Rhodes. After trailing 8-19 early in the first half, Team Rhodes went on an incredible run charged by the sharp-shooting of Royale Jones. Jones, more known for his work on the wrestling mat, topped off his shooting performance by playing solid on the ball defense, making all coaches in the crowd question their teachings of the fundamental defensive slide. You see, Jones does not slide when playing D. Instead, he waddles like a wrestler, giving the impression that at any moment he is going to shoot in for a single-leg takedown. Fearing their own safety, the person who Jones guards, is usually quick to get rid of the ball. While Jones was able to stake Team Rhodes to a first half lead, it was Desean Lee who was largely responsible for holding on to it. Lee's ten second half-points included a 3 off the glass which gave Team Rhodes a 39-37 lead that they would not relinquish the rest of the game. Jermaine Johnson had 12 points and 13 rebounds, while Nick Norals finished with 10 points and fore (whoops I mean four) assists.

As previously stated, Team Brown got off to an outstanding start due to some hot shooting by Cartier Brown (18 points, 6 boards). I believe he might have even thrown a dunk in there when I wasn't looking. Up 19 to 8, Team Brown got complacent and started relying way too much on their long-distance shooting. Not only did this prompt an incredible Team Rhodes 20 to 4 run to end the half, but it also resulted in an entire half-time speech with "No more 3s" as the theme. They then proceeded to shoot 8 three-pointers in a row to start the second half. Apparently no one was listening. Ultimately, the living by the three mentality backfired and they suffered their fourth loss in their last five games. Thomas Hood complimented Brown by scoring 15 points and pulling down 7 rebounds.

One Last Plug: Even if the people you talk to have never played golf in their life and can't or don't want to participate on the 12th, they can still contribute to your school's athletic fund if they want. Depending on how much money you bring in, you can still receive rewards, even if you don't get actual participants.

Also, if by random chance, you have stumbled upon this blog or if word has spread across the globe about the basketball excellence exhibited in the KBA and you have arrived here intentionally, the athletic department at Kenwood and our students would appreciate your donations. We need to raise a ton of money in order to compete with the best in the city and suburbs. Small or large, your help would be greatly appreciated.

For more information on how to do so, you can contact Coach Rodgers ( or Coach Maley (

For those interested in selling, here are the links to forms and information that you need:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 12 Recap

(No Ealy + Awful Trade) X Improvement of Team Conner = Team Laquinn Loss

Team Turean Conner 48
Team Laquinn Parks 36

While some might point to Xavier O'Neal airballing two free throws as the highlight of this game (He pulled even with Marques Hudson for league lead), the real story was Chris Pride putting Mario Sawyer on lockdown. Granted, Sawyer did not have the weapons at his disposal like he normally does (Ealy was a no-show), but Chris showed some Pride on the defensive end and made it his mission to make it a long night for Sawyer. Super Mario looked more like Luigi tonight as he struggled to a season low of 8 points and four assists in the losing effort for Team Parks (5-3). You would think that with Pride expending so much energy on defense that he wouldn't have anything left in the tank for the offensive end. Much to the contrary, Pride was still able to drop ten points and seven assists on the sinking ship that is Team Parks. Team Conner (5-2) received solid contributions from Xavier O'Neil (Despite aforementioned airballs), Daniel Palm, and Turean Conner. X recorded his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Daniel Palm had 10 points, 7 rebounds, and one of the worst displays of ball hogging I have ever seen. On a 3 on 1 fast break, with both O'Neil and Conner ahead of him for wide-open layups (maybe even dunks depending on how O'Neil and Conner were feeling), Palm took it upon himself to take 4 more dribbles and try to finish it himself. Instead of his teammates having an easy bucket, Palm was absolutely clobbered to the floor on the way to the rim. Coach Rodgers and Coach Maley proved that they are Coaches 1st, Referees 2nd, and Impartial 3rd, as Daniel received no whistle on the foul. Teammate Turean Conner (10 points) had a late second half surge that spoiled a solid comeback effort by Team Parks, culminating in a step-back 3 which put the game completely out of reach with 1:26 left.

Team Parks was destined to win it all. They drafted a solid nucleus who was clicking on all cylinders. Then, their general manager decided that he needed to make a move just so he could say that he made a move. As a result, the team that used to work well together, has lost all the chemistry that made them great. Sawyer looked unSawyer-like, while Mister Mister struggled to find his shot. The only person who eclipsed any of their season averages was Parks who had 12 points and 8 rebounds. This makes me think. Was there an ulterior motive to the Begusa trade? It's quite possible that Laquinn knew he would get more touches with Begusa gone and thus he was willing to sacrifice a KBA championship so that he could make a run at an All-KBA 2nd Team Award. While we may never know what his motivation was, we do know that it was about as nonsensical as deciding to not dress for gym. As previously stated, super-star Ealy was not at the game, most likely in attempt to voice his displeasure at the direction that his team is headed or it could have just been his bi-weekly trip to the barber. Whatever the case, without him, Team Parks had no chance.

Team Glostner able to Hold On at the End

Team Patrick Glostner 53
Team Denzell Smith 50

The first defensive possession of this ball-game for Team Glostner (7-2) signified to me that they are for real. Each player on the floor was talking, calling out screens, and using other verbal directions to play solid team defense. While it only lasted a possession, the effort for those 13 seconds is what champions are made of. Team Glostner was able to stake themselves to a big second-half lead thanks to "Mr Consistent", Remy Price, who had 16 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Despite this, they began to squander the lead late in the second half due to some careless turnovers, bad shots, and another called timeout by Glostner in the midst of a Remy Price fast break (This was Deja Vu from their last game). Luckily, Jamal Sykes was able to save the day for Team Glostner with some late-game heroics. With the scored tied at 49, with under two minutes to play, Sykes converted a lay-up courtesy of a Price assist. On the ensuing possession, a phenomenal Cash Jones save found Sykes underneath the basket for another two, giving them a four point lead, and for all intensive purposes, ended the game. Korey Williams complimented Price well in the backcourt with 8 points and five assists. Cash Jones reluctantly finished with ten, while Patty Glostner added 11.

If it were not for a terribly slow start and a missed dunk by Denzell Smith (almost at Cartier Brown's level), Team Smith (4-4) could have just as easily won this game. Instead, they find themselves in the midst of a two game losing streak and searching for answers. One answer might come in the form of Demarrio Lofton who looked to be coming into his own today. He had a season high 11 points and 13 rebounds. Even though 6 of those rebounds came on one possession in which Lofton simply could not get a lay-up to go down, his numbers were impressive. Jeremy McClendon was absolutely killing it in the second half, igniting the comeback, and putting fear into the eyes Team Glostner. Of his twenty points, 16 came in the second half. In the end, they did not have enough, as they fell 4 points short of a victory.

Big Pay Day: I feel for Team Owners in the 2011 KBA season. Every time Jamal Sykes grabs a key offensive rebound or hits a big shot, I can hear the cash registering ringing and see the $ signs forming in Jamal's eyes. While Sykes is currently signed for the league minimum this year, his value has sky-rocketed after his last two games. While he may not be a max contract type player like Remy Price will be next year, expect this young man to get paid and get paid well.

Speaking of Cash: Is a ten points per game average since being traded to a contender good enough for Cash Jones' appetite? I'm still not sold. Being the third option does not sit well with Cash in my opinion. Look for him to be more aggressive in the next couple of games, even if it may mean taking a loss or two.

Hargrovians Decide to Try in Second Half

Team Denzell Hargrove 40
Team Jeff Jones 33

After a sluggish first half which had them trailing by three at intermission, Team Hargrove (5-2) decided that enough is enough, and took control in half two. Phaelen Lewis was the hero today, scoring 12 second half points with a couple of huge threes which put the game out of reach for Team Jones (2-5). Denzell Hargrove was quiet from a scoring standpoint (only 4 points), but his contributions on the defensive end and as a facilitator were crucial to his team's success. Travis McBride (10 points, 4 steals) and Red Washington (9 points and 5 rebounds) rounded out the attack, demonstrating the tremendous balance that this team has. Barring a loss on Friday, I'd have to expect that these guys will be ranked the number one team in the league come Monday morning. Beware though guys, you will now be the hunted, instead of the hunters. No team this year has been able to hold the #1 ranking for more than a week. Maybe you guys will be the first. With the parity in this league however, I'd have to think that an upset will be a brewing.

Team Jones had its best first half of the season, considering the competition that they were facing. Even with turnover happy Hassan Hall forcing Commissioner Rodgers to put a "No more no-look passes, you might poke someone's eye out" rule into effect, Team Jones led 18 to 15 at halftime. A large reason for this was a solid first half put together by Kevin Swanson, who clearly was out to prove that he should have gotten more PT this year over Kyle Begusa. While their first half output was very impressive, Team Jones' second half was equally disappointing. The unselfishness and sharing of the ball which triggered their early success in the game was replaced with a lot of 1 on 1 play. Some say that it may have been the ghost of former teammate Cash Jones at work, but I'm not entirely sold. Nonetheless, a more focused Team Hargrove capitalized on the change in mentality and ran away with the game in the closing minutes. Hassan Hall finished with 9 points and Kevin Swanson added 13 to pace Team Jones.

Early Predictions for Post-Seasons Awards:

All-KBA First Team

PG: Mario Sawyer
G: Remy Price
SF: Patrick Glostner
PF: Tarik Martin
C: Denzell Smith

All-KBA Second Team

PG: Travis McBride
SG: Cartier Brown
SF: Courtney Ealy
PF: Xavier O'Neal
C: Kyle Begusa

All-KBA Third Team

PG: Denzell Hargrove
SG: Jeremy McClendon
SF: Marques Hudson
PF: Kevin Swanson
C: Jermaine Johnson (I know he's only played one game, but that one game was huge)

Rookie of the Year: Remy Price

Most Improved Player: Dimitri Baker

6th Man of the Year: Jamal Sykes

Coach of the Year: Denzell Hargrove

General Manager of the Year: Denzell Hargrove

Co-League MVPS: Patrick Glostner and Remy Price

League Runner-Up: Team Denzell Hargrove

League Champions: Team Patrick Glostner

Note: There is still a lot of time left in the season. This could all change in the blink of bad game or in a fraction of a suspension.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 11 Recap

Jermaine Johnson's Dunk Sparks Team Rhodes' Comeback

Team Mr. Rhodes 35
Team Patrick Glostner 34

With the likes of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Joe Johnson on the free agent market, this is shaping up to be the most monumental off-season in the history of the NBA. The signing of one of these top tier guys could change the course of history for four lucky franchises. Similarly, the signing of free agent Jermaine Johnson could alter the KBA forever and dramatically change the season outlook for Team Rhodes (3-4). The 6'8 Johnson dominated on both ends of the floor on Monday, finishing with 16 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 blocked shots. Down 3 with less than a minute to play, Johnson caught a pass from Nick Norals, took one step, and threw down a rim-rattling, earth shaking, momentum changing, opponent embarrassing, slam which almost brought the roof down in the upstairs gym. Play almost had to be stopped, as spectator Derrick Gaddy ran onto the floor screaming and proceeded to do some sort of break dancing move which pleased the crowd to the nth degree. This certainly rattled Team Glostner (6-2) and was huge factor in them folding at the end of the game. Combining Johnson with Nick Norals (Who has never committed a foul in life if you ask him) and Squirt Polk make The Rhodes Scholars an upper-echelon team once again. If team doctors are able to get Mr. Rhodes patched up and playing before season's end, they may be going to the ship. The best part about the addition of Jermaine Johnson to the league is not his ability to throw down mesmerizing dunks or the impact he has on his team's chances to win, but rather the comedy that results from his teammates and everyone else in the crowd expecting him to dunk every time he touches the ball. Nick Norals must have chastised Johnson at least 8 times after he laid the ball in instead of dunking. As Mastercard says, there are some things that money can't buy. Watching Jermaine score two points and still get yelled at is one of those such things, and truly is priceless.

Both Cash Jones and Patrick Glostner were suspended for today's game due to conduct detrimental to the school. Even without them, Team Glostner was still almost able to sneak away with a W. Little-used forward Jamal Sykes played big, finishing with 9 points and 8 offensive rebounds. His energy on the glass gave his team extra possessions that they dearly needed in this hard fought contest. If anyone knows who Wally Pipp is, you may see version 2010 in either Cash Jones or Patrick Glostner, while Sykes may "Lou Gehrig" his way into the KBA record books. At the least, he has clearly earned himself more playing time in upcoming games. Remy Price, Team Glostner's best and least suspended player, was solid once again, collecting 12 points and 7 steals. Ultimately, it was not enough though, as Jermaine's rim-rocker did them in at the end of the game. One has to question whether Glostner should turn over the "C" on his jersey to Price after this game until he can prove himself worthy and reliable to his teammates. Saying that his suspension was a result of him getting picked on as opposed to taking responsibility for his actions, just won't cut it.

Team Cartier Brown Bounces Back with a Vengeance

Team Cartier Brown 56
Team Denzell Smith 49

After a very rough last couple of weeks, some members of the media (and by some, I mean me) had written Team Brown (3-3) off as a non-factor in the league. Their win against the up and coming Team Smith (4-3) proved that there may be some fight left in these guys after all. Michael Darty, who had pulled a Houdini by disappearing in their last 3 games, made his presence known with 13 points on 3 of 3 shooting from behind the arc. Derrick Gaddy made the most of his limited minutes by rebounding the ball at a rate of 1 board/minute. He also seemed to come up with every loose ball and created mayhem on the defensive end with his stifling pressure. Dimitri Baker, who I have been highly critical of in the past by bestowing the nicknames of Imitri (for his lack of defense) and "The Elevator" (because it seemed like when he went in, the other team's score went up) on him, had an incredibly solid first half and earned the new nickname of "The Pupil." The reason being, is that Dimitri accepts the criticism he receives on the blog, learns from it, and uses it as motivation in his next game. When called Imitri, Dimitri stepped up his defensive intensity. After being dubbed "The Elevator" after his last game, Baker made sure today that his Plus-Minus ratio was positive. Clearly, this guy uses the blog as a learning tool. Teammate Cartier Brown was great once again, finishing with 18 points, although he could have had more if he attacked the basket more. Free agent pick-up Raylan "I'm the best athlete in my family" Jones proved to be a solid pick-up by pulling down 8 rebounds.

If it weren't for the Kyle Begusa trade by Laquinn Parks, General Manager Denzel Smith would have received a lot more criticism for trading pass-first point guard Keith Spencer to Team Bailey. Luckily for Smith, the Begusa trade was so unbelievably bad (will talk about it later), that the Spencer trade flew under the radar. Today, the short-sightedness of the trade became known to all as Team Smith struggled mightily. The message by Joni Mitchell and later restated by Janet Jackson "that you don't know what you got till its gone" is certainly apropos when thinking about this trade. Today, the ball did not move as crisply, the lack of a solid ball handler was noticeable, and guys looked uncomfortable as they tried to assume roles that they were unaccustomed to. Meant to be no knock on Jeremy McClendon (who Smith got in exchange for Spencer), but not having Spencer was and will be damaging to the offensive continuity that characterized Team Smith's success early on in the KBA season. Adding to the problem, high-scoring guard Syid Young, sustained a foot injury and his return for the rest of the season looks doubtful. If there was one positive today, it was that sharp-shooter, free-agent pick-up Nic Collie showed no signs of being rusty in his debut. Marques Hudson and Denzell Smith had 13 and 9 points respectively.

Worst Trade of the Year Allows Begusa to Get Revenge on Unappreciative Former Teammates

Team Denzell Hargrove 48
Team Laquinn Parks 39

When people think about the best general managers in sports, the Names John Schierholtz of the Atlanta Braves, Jerry West of the Los Angeles Lakers, Dale Tallon of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Bill Polian of the Indianapolis Colts usually come to mind. You may have to add the name Denzell Hargrove to that list because of his acquisition of Center Kyle Begusa at the trade deadline for reserve forward Rob Tyler. This move was so good that I'm not even going to mention Hargrove's offensive woes today. What I will mention is that Begusa had 16 rebounds and five blocks. Even better than the blocks, Begusa was able to alter the shots on the drives of players from Team Parks (5-2), more often than not, ending in misses. By the second half, Team Parks was so afraid to attack the rim that they continued to settle for bad three after bad three. Hargrove's ingenuity by acquiring Begusa has immediately made his squad the team to beat in the KBA. Travis McBride shot the ball well once again, finishing with ten points on very few shots (mainly due to the offensive woes of Hargrove that I'm not going to mention). Red Washington may have benefited the most from Begusa's arrival by exploding for 15 points. Usually, Washington had to shoulder the burden of being Team Hargrove's (4-2) top offensive and defensive rebounder. With the arrival of Begusa, he was able to focus more on showing off his entire offensive repertoire. He was even able to sneak in his first unnecessary rim grab of the season, although he still trails league leader Daniel Palm by four in that department.

The smartest thing Laquinn Parks did was not show up for the game on Monday. If he did, he would surely have been booed unmercifully by fans of Team Parks Nation for railroading their team's hopes and dreams for KBA glory by trading away the best center in the league. Adding insult to injury was the fact that Rob Tyler, who they obtained in the trade, did not even show up to the game. At first, even without Begusa, I still thought they might have a chance. That is until I saw the normally stoic Mario Sawyer salute the crowd after making his first three pointer of the game. When he did that, I knew they were going to lose. Those type of antics are not in Sawyer's demeanor and should be reserved for people whose game can not speak for themselves. That said, Team Parks got off to a decent start, but instead of attacking the basket, they were relying on three pointers. As the old saying goes, "You live and die by the three." They most certainly died today by falling in love with their jump shots and going cold in the second half. A large reason for their lack of attacking the basket was the intimidation put forth by the inside presence of Begusa. Still, Courtney Ealy, must use his athleticism to get to the rim as opposed to being a one dimensional player. While he finished with 13 points, it could have been a whole lot more. After this game, it appears that he may have slipped out of the Top Ten Freshman in the State according to CourtneyEaly'

Counterintuitive Thinking: After the game, Courtney Ealy defended the trade of Kyle Begusa by his team captain. Maybe he did not want to throw his coach under the bus to the media, but when pressed further, he gave a real perplexing quote. "All we need is a big man who can rebound, and we'll be straight." Hmmmmmmm. That's like................

- Trading Michael Jordan and saying "All we need is the greatest player in the history of basketball and we will be ok"

- Trading Lebron James and saying "All we need now is a 6'8 guy who has the size of a power forward and the skills of a point guard."

- Trading Peyton Manning and saying "All we need now is a coach on the field who prepares for opponents better than anyone."

- Trading Albert Pujols and saying "All we need is a guy who hits for both power and average."

- Trading Wayne Gretsky and saying "All we need is a guy who is the greatest goal scorer of all-time."

Courtney, you had that guy and got rid of him. Unfortunately, a trade like this may change your season.


Dear Kenwood Academy High School Supporters,

Kenwood Academy’s athletic program ranks among the best in the city, mainly because we require our student athletes to maintain a credible GPA while still attaining excellence on the field and courts. Many of our student athletes use this pedigree to earn scholarships and grants from prestigious colleges and universities all over the country. Kenwood Academy’s Athletic Program is dedicated to preparing our student-athletes for college success.

While normally we receive ample funding from the City of Chicago, the Board of Education, and the State of Illinois, this year due to large budget cuts, ALL of our non varsity athletics have been cut. Kenwood High School has over 30 sports teams and over 500 student athletes who compete at high levels and display ultimate pride in the Kenwood/Hyde Park name. Therefore, we are in dire need of supplemental income in order to continue to properly train our younger athletes so that they can have the same opportunity as the Kenwood Alums that preceded them.

This outing will once again bring together a variety of people from the community, school, and city for the purpose of supporting the athletic programs at Kenwood Academy High School. All money earned from this outing will directly benefit the Kenwood Academy athletic teams. We expect the event to fill up, with approximately 130 golfers on the course. Don’t miss out on a day filled with fun, prizes, food, and some great golf. The success of the event and our students’ sports programs depends on the number of golfers who sign up. So get your foursomes out there and come have a great time.

Cost: $125 per Golfer or $500 for each foursome

What’s included: 18 Holes of golf with a cart. Many Prizes for the winners and attendees, plus food will be served along with beverages

Save the date: Saturday, June 12, 2010

Where: Joe Louis Golf Course, Riverdale, IL

Time: Tee times start at 1 pm- until

Please fill out the registration form below and return it with your fee ASAP. The deadline for your fee and registration form is June 1. But space will fill up quickly and we can only reserve on a first come first serve basis. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions. Your support of Kenwood Academy High School Athletics is greatly appreciated!

Coach CJ Rodgers
Head Mens Basketball Coach
Kenwood Academy High School
5015 S. Blackstone
Chicago, IL 60615
Office: 773-535-1350 ext 27414
Cell: 773-220-0238

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Rankings After Week 4

Records Through Friday, May 7. Last week's ranking in parentheses.

1. Team Laquinn Parks 5-1 (1)

It appears that everyone in the league is afraid to play this team as they benefited from two forfeits this past week. Laquinn Parks' trade of shot blocker Kyle Begusa to Team Denzell Hargrove for Rob Tyler could go down as the most lopsided trade in the history of any sport at any level. This move may put them out of the top spot by the end of next week.

2. Team Patrick Glostner 6-1 (2)

The Positives: Picked up a couple wins this week. The Negatives: Patrick Glostner is now Persona non grata after the fit he threw after being called for blatantly hooking Derrick Gaddy. Not only did he earn a technical, almost costing his team the game, he also earned absolutely 0 calls in the future from notorious grudge holder, Coach Maley. Team Glostner better hope they don't play the first game of the day for the rest of the season, otherwise they could be in trouble.

3. Team Denzell Hargrove 3-2 (3)

Although they did not play this week, they got much better after Denzell Hargrove was able to con Laquinn Parks into trading Kyle Begusa to his team. How he was able to pull this move off is a mystery. Did Hargrove provide Laquinn Parks with monetary compensation as well? Did he promise to carry Laquinn's books around the school for the rest of the year? Did Denzell agree to serve a couple of Laquinn's detentions for him? Whatever the case may be, Team Hargrove got a lot better on Friday.

4. Team Denzell Smith 4-2 (5)

Blows out Team Rhodes and continues their assent up the KBA rankings.

5. Team Turean Connor 4-2 (7)

Team Connor is starting to live up to pre-season expectations. The emergence of big man Kenny Williams is just what they needed.

6. Team Cartier Brown 2-3 (4)

Dimitri Baker's new nickname may be "the elevator". No, this is not because he can jump out of the gym, it is because every time he checks back into the game, the other team's lead always seems to be going up.

7. Team Mr. Rhodes 2-4 (7)

Mid-season acquisitions of Jermaine Johnson and Royale Jones will have to fill the shoes of the injured Rhodes. If not, they better be praying for Rhodes to have a speedy recovery.

8. Team Kyle Bailey 2-4 (6)

Just two weeks ago, this team was the number one team in the league. Now, they are in shambles. Cebron wants out, players aren't showing up, and they missed out on all the best free agents. I would not be surprised if Coach Bailey resigned and decided to pursue a television deal at the KBANetwork.

9. Team Jeff Jones 2-4 (9)

Benefited from a forfeit, but gave it right back with a forfeit of their own a day later. Never thought I'd say this, but they will miss Cash dearly in upcoming weeks.

10. Team Afure Obeabor 0-7 (10)

Their new strategy of forfeiting allows them to lose like normal, but it also allows them to save face and talk about how they would have won if so-and-so would have showed up.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 9 Recap

K-Will Jump-Starts Team Connor to Third Win

Team Turean Connor 45
Team Cartier Brown 42

Kenny Williams (11 point and 19 rebounds) was an absolute beast on the low block today, playing by far, his best game of the season for Team Connor (3-2). Unlike other big men in the league who sometimes wander to the perimeter (I don't want to call anyone out, so I'll say Afureay Obeaboray in Pig Latin to protect his anonymity), Williams set up shop in the painted area, and refused to be denied. Members of Team Brown (2-2) bounced off him like flies as he made And-1 after And-1. His ability to clear space allowed him to pick up seven offensive rebounds, two of which were game changers. Williams even showed off a little finesse to his game with a quick spin to a fade-away over Cartier Brown. What was most impressive about his day was that he had absolutely zero complaints (seriously not even a lip smack or an eye roll) to the referees even after a questionable no-call by Coach Maley in the second half. While his contributions were the key to Team Connor getting off to a great start in the first half, it was Daniel Palm (7 points) and Turean Connor (9 points) who sealed the game late in the second half. Palm came up with two consecutive baskets with under 2 minutes to play which allowed Team Connor to retake the lead. Down 1 with 35 seconds to play, Turean Connor calmly drained two free throws, fighting through some quality Dimitri Baker trash talk. After a Tarik Martin acrobatic lay-up which allowed Team Brown to retake the lead, Connor again stepped up to the line and knocked down two more free throws that effectively sealed the deal. Xavier O'Neal added 9 points and three blocks, while Christopher Pride affectively ran the show to the tune of 9 points and 11 assists.

Team Cartier Brown was able to weather the storm of the early first-half onslaught by Kenny Williams and get themselves right back into the game by halftime, trailing by only 3. It was Cartier Brown who hit 4 threes, many of which were shot 4 feet further back than they had to be, to help Team Brown keep pace. Late in the second half, after Derrick Gaddy ripped Chris Pride, leading to a Tarik Martin lay-in, Team Brown had finally taken their first lead of the ball game. The heroics of Daniel Palm and Turean Connor spoiled the comeback effort however and gave Team Brown their second loss in as many games. While the loss must have been disappointing, Team Brown can take solace in the fact that they played their hearts out and left it all on the floor.

Ladies of the Scoreboard Earn Major Respect: We all know Briana Brown and Shamir Taylor are the best scoreboard and scorebook operators in all of the chicagoland area. While Coach Rodgers and I are incredibly grateful for this, they raised my respect level for them even higher with an interesting bit of initiative they took which is sure to increase the comedic output of this blog in the future. Instead of keeping track of just points like they usually do, they decided to keep track of missed shots, knowing that it could be ammo to take subtle jabs at members of the KBA fraternity. While I did not use this reputation ruining classified information on this day, you can be sure that it will be used in the future. So fellas, please keep this in mind, before deciding to put up a 0 for 28 performance. By the way, rumor has it that Shamir Taylor dunked over Kevin Swanson. I was not there to witness it, but it was confirmed by a reliable source and denied by an unreliable source in Swanson.

Captain-Less Team Glostner Struggles but Wins

Team Patrick Glostner 46
Team Afure Obeabor 38

Due to conduct detrimental to the school, Patrick Glostner was suspended for Team Glostner's (5-1) match-up with Team Afure (0-6). Without him, Team Glostner was out of sync in the first half. Even with Glostner coaching from side-line as if life and death rode on the outcome of this game, they could not seem to get anything going. By the way, Glostner's coaching attire was something I've never seen before as he was decked out with actual ankle braces. Obviously this was to prevent a high sprain due to physical nature of saying "Get Back" and "Box Out" a bunch of times. You can never be too careful I guess. Anyways.....where was I. Oh yeah. So after a sluggish first half which had them tied at halftime, Remy Price decided to have "No way are we going to lose to Team Afure" dominant second half. Mr. Price knifed his way into the lane whenever and wherever he wanted, resulting in 26 points, 20 which came in the second half. Even Kevin Swanson who usually does not give any respect to anyone voiced what I was thinking by saying "He is going to be good" when referring to the freshman. Team Afure had absolutely no answer for him. The only person who was able to stop him in the slightest was his own captain, who committed a classic case of over-coaching by calling a time-out in the middle of one of Price's drives to the basket. New-comer Phillip Strong added 6 points to go along with Cash Jones' season low of 2.

Team Afure put together one of their best first halves of the season led by point guard Derrick Roberts. Actually, I was not paying that much attention in the first half but after looking at the score sheet after the game (Derrick ended up with 8 points), and knowing that I do not want to hear Roberts complain anymore about the lack of blog love, we'll just assume that he was the catalyst of their first-half surge. Even with Roberts hypothetically incredible first half, Team Afure came out flat to start half number two. Sensing this, Remy Price exploded, allowing Team Glostner to build a lead that Team Afure was never able to overcome. Afure Obeabor had 11 points and Rob Siler chipped in 10 in the losing effort.

The Name Game: Chris Mister refereed this game in a tee-shirt jersey with Mr. Mister on the back. This made me think, does Chris have the best "Title-Same as Last Name" name in the history of toponymy (The Study of Names)? Let's examine this.
1. Doctor Doctor: No, not that fan friendly.
2. King King: Too overbearing "rulery".
3. Father Father or Reverend Reverend: Separation of Church and State forbids me to comment on this.
4. Misses Misses: Cindy Brady (I'm dating myself) would struggle with this one.
5. Professor Professor: If the And One mix-tape guy decides to teach a college course on the art of the crossover, then Chris could have some competition.
6. Judge Judge: I like it, but not as much as Mister Mister.
7. Officer Officer: Nope, Nope, Nope.
8. Coach Coach: No because if Daniel Palm was his or her player, instead of "Coach Maley, Coach Maley, Coach Maley", it would be "Coach Coach, Coach Coach, Coach Coach". That is just way to much alliteration.
9. Chief Chief: Might be forced to change it due to politically incorrectness.
10. Sir Sir: Nice, but not nice enough.

Well, there you have it. After much research and hours of consideration, it is apparent that Mister Mister is the winner for best "Title-Same as last Name" name in the world. Congrats Chris.

Team Jones on First Two Game Winning Streak after Forfeit

Team Jeff Jones 99
Team Kyle Bailey 0

Team Jones (2-3) gets their second win of the season, while Team Kyle Bailey (2-4) falls two games below five hundred.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 8 Recap

Playing 5 on 4, Never a Good Idea

Team Denzell Smith 58
Team Mr. Rhodes 40

In the season preview, when describing Team Connor, I used the phrase "I really, really, really like this team". Looking back, it was foolish to say that about a team who lacked a true point guard. Currently, a statement like that could be used to describe how I feel about Team Denzell Smith (4-2), but this time I do not think I'll have any regrets. Their guard play on Monday was outstanding with Syid Young doing the scoring (18 points) and Keith Spencer doing the assisting (12 dimes, although he'll tell you he had at least 20). The great thing about Keith is that he is a natural facilitator who values getting an assist more than scoring himself. Although that mindset may make Spencer seem like an alien to many KBAers out there, those who like watching good basketball appreciate it. Young, Marques Hudson (15 points, 10 boards), Denzell Smith (13 points, 4 blocks), and Demario Lofton (7 points) should all take Mr. Spencer out to a steak dinner to show him their appreciation for taking this unselfish approach. Smith was dazzling again, displaying the all-around game that makes him one of the more versatile players in the game. He was even able to keep pace with Nick Norals for second in MDPG (missed dunks per game) when he matched Norals first half blunder with an "Anything you can't do, I can't do better" clank of his own. Although Marques Hudson started preparing early for his upcoming semester abroad by travelling all over the court in the first half, he was able to settle down and help push the lead out in the second half through an assortment of low post "Dream Shakes." By game's end, the five from Team Smith, were too much for the four Rhodes Scholars.
The Rhodes Scholars (2-4) scratched, clawed, and toughed out a quality first fifteen minutes which had them down only two at halftime. They re-introduced their fallen leader's (By the way, it looks like Mr. Rhodes may be out at least 2 weeks with a finger) demoralizing 2-2 zone which seemed to confuse Team Smith for a large portion of half one. The havoc that the zone played resulted in Team Smith settling for a lot of perimeter jump shots and standing around the three point line playing a game called "First to 5 missed threes" wins. At least I think it was the zone that did this, for it does satisfy the causal relationship of: If you play a zone that another team is unfamiliar with, then they will do a lot of standing and very little attacking of the tin. But some in attendance might argue that the real causation was: If you wear god-awful smelling jerseys capable of permeating their stench across than entire gym, then the offensive team will not even think about venturing inside the three-point stripe. Regardless, the success was short-lived, as Team Smith was either able to figure out a way to attack the zone from the inside-out, or the psychological process of habituation (I suggest Wikipedia if you don't know what this means, because we all know that this is the best source for accurate information submitted by the elite of academia) finally kicked in. As a result, the four horsemen for Team Rhodes were unable to put up much of fight in the second half as Team Smith cruised to an 18 point victory. Nick Norals was able to help his team by contributing a season-best 22 points and five rebounds. Surprisingly though, his aforementioned botched cram, did not provide the spark to his teammates that most missed dunks often do. Instead, it almost seemed like missing it caused a change in momentum similar to a player handing the ball directly over to the other team. Coach Rodgers and I will have to keep this anomaly in mind next year before deciding to diagram our best "missed dunk" quick-hitter in a key late-game situation. That said, Squirt Polk had a quiet 13 in the loss.

Blockbuster Deal with "Cash" Considerations

Team Patrick Glostner 41
Team Kyle Bailey 21

When I first learned about the deal that sent Cash Jones and Phillip Strong from Team Jones to Team Glostner (4-1)
for Kevin Swanson I was very, very, very, skeptical. Why would Glostner, captain of one of the best teams in the league, mess with his roster? Well, today's game may have proven my skepticism to be ill-founded. In fact, this may be a case of the rich getting richer for Glostner's squad. Cash played within himself on Monday under the watchful eye of Glostner. In the past, what might have been a forced shot, turned into a kick-out to an open man. What might have been a basket-hang, turned out to be hustle play at the defensive end of the floor. What may have lead to an argument before, turned in to a man hug with a teammate for Cash. While it may be best to reserve judgement until this initial honeymoon period is over, as of right now, the decision to acquire Cash looks money. Gloster's collection of all-stars cruised to a 41-21 victory behind 13 points from Mr. Glostner. While Glostner's pre-game routine of doing the Lebron powder throw is getting old, his back-flip (A KBA first), post score, was rather entertaining and well deserving of a blog mention. Teammates Remy Price (11 points, 4 steals) and Korey Williams (6 points, 7 assists) rounded out the total team effort. One thing did have me worried for this team after the game. After finding out that he only had nine points, Cash said "That's okay, we are only satisfied with the W". Moments later, I saw him in deep contemplation and what looked to be counting going on his head. Right on cue, Cash came back over and says he really thought he had 11. To me, that doesn't sound like someone who is only satisfied with the W. Patrick Glostner better make sure he keeps his superstar in check in order to keep the good times rolling.

Jordan, Magic, Bird, Kobe. They have all had off nights in their illustrious careers. Cebron proved that he is no different today in Team Bailey's (2-3) loss. Something just was not right with him. His normally automatic jumper was not falling. His handles looked more like door knobs. His defense resembled a matador. His normally no-look dishes (necessary or not) were telegraphed turnovers today. To me it was clear that carrying this team on his back for the past four games had taken its toll on Cebron. Luckily, he has a couple days off to rest, and can come back to perform like the man, the myth, and the legend that he is. Unfortunately for Team Bailey, no one was able to step up and bail Cebron out during his uncharacteristically poor performance. Kyle Bailey (4 points), Jeremy McClendon (5 points), and Bam Brisco (4 points) had a balanced scoring attack, but equality does not matter when it only results in twenty total points. As was mentioned before, Team Bailey needs to score big at the trade deadline, otherwise it may be a long second half to the season.

First Forfeit of Season has Everyone Contemplating League Contraction

Team Laquinn Parks 99
Team Afure Obeabor 0

Nothing to write about in this one except that Team Laquinn Parks (4-1) gained another victory, while Team Afure (0-5) suffered it's fifth straight defeat due to first league forfeit of the season. This was unfortunate for those who paid to see Courtney Ealy, Mario Sawyer, Laquinn Parks, and Mister Mister perform. Team Afure owes the league and it's followers a huge apology for their truancy.

Big-Time Free Agents: With the second draft approaching later on this week, I think it's time to start talking about the big names that will be available. GMs better do their due diligence, otherwise a player they pass on could come back to haunt them as the season winds down.

Jermaine Taylor: He is the best big man available without question. He has talent and the ability to block shots and could be a huge difference maker for a team looking to go on a long post-season run.

Vinnie Sanchez: This guy can shoot, pass, and dribble. I have to imagine that if he was in the initial draft, he would have gone off the board in round three. I highly recommend teams that lack true point guards to seriously consider adding this guy to their roster (I'm looking at you Team Connor and Team Afure).

Royale Jones: He would certainly be a quality candidate for the all-name team, to go along with his ability to shoot the three. Like Chaz Thrailkill, he uses his strength and aggressiveness to pose a threat on the defensive end. Plus, if you ever need a guy to shoot in for a single-leg take down if things get chippy, he is your man. Keep in mind, that one negative to picking up Jones, is his inability to knock down half-court shots. The guy loves to shoot 'em, loves to miss 'em.

Frank Lopez: Have never seen this guy play, but if he is as sneaky on the court, as he is with his early exits out of the lunch room, than Lopez is a guy that I want working the seams of my 2-3 zone.

Nic Collie: This guy could battle Chris Pride and Mr. Mister for best lefty-shooter in the KBA. If you could get the head-phones out of his ears for the duration of the game, you may have a solid contributor on your hands.